Key Battles of American History
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Key Battles of American History

James Early
War has played a key role in the history of the United States from the nation’s founding right down to the present. Wars made the U. S. independent, kept it together, increased its size, and established it as a global superpower. Understanding America’s wars is essential for understanding American history. In the Key Battles of American History, host James Early discusses American history through the lens of the most important battles of America’s wars. James is an Adjunct Professor of History at San Jacinto College in Pasadena, TX. He has published one book and two scholarly articles. He is also the cohost (with Scott Rank) of the Presidential Fight Club, Key Battles of the Civil War, Key Battles of the Revolutionary War, and Key Battles of World War I podcasts.
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Band of Brothers, Episode 7: The Breaking Point
January 13, 2024 - 67 min
In this episode Sean and James discuss Band of Brothers Episode 7: The Breaking Point. Easy holds the line near Foy, Belgium, losing numerous soldiers. Winters and the men worry about the company's new commander, First Lieutenant Norman Dike, who is frequently absent without explanation. First Sergeant Carwood Lipton attempts to keep Easy's morale up. Lieutenant Lynn "Buck" Compton watches in horror as his close friends Guarnere and Joe Toye lose their legs to shelling, and he too is pulled from the line. During the assault on Foy, Dike freezes up during an attack, so Winters orders Lt. Ronald Speirs to relieve him. Victorious, Easy takes shelter in a church, where Lipton is told he has been given a field commission as a second lieutenant and Speirs is officially assigned command of Easy.
Fierce Valor with Jared Frederick
January 10, 2024 - 43 min
In this episode, James again interviews professor, reenactor, and YouTuber Jared Frederick, this time about his 2022 book (co-authored with Erik Dorr) Fierce Valor: The True Story of Ronald Speirs and His Band of Brothers. Jared and James discuss the fascinating military career of Ronald Speirs, the final World War II commander of the 101st Airborne Division’s Easy Company and a key character of the award-winning 2001 HBO miniseries Band of Brothers.
Band of Brothers, Episode 6: Bastogne
January 6, 2024 - 51 min
In this episode Sean and James discuss Band of Brothers Episode 6: Bastogne. Easy faces harsh winter conditions in the Ardennes, running dangerously low on ammunition, food, and medical supplies. Combat medic Eugene "Doc" Roe helps his fellow soldiers where he can, while also scrounging for medical supplies. He befriends a Belgian nurse named Renée; she is later killed in a bombing raid. Easy and other American units are surrounded, but General McAuliffe, their commander, rejects a German surrender offer with the reply "Nuts!"
The Sioux Wars
January 3, 2024 - 24 min
In this topical episode, commissioned by Early’s Raiders Major Alex Calabrese, James discusses the various Sioux Wars, including the Dakota War of 1862, Red Cloud’s War (1866-68), the Great Sioux War (1876-77), and the Ghost Dance War (1890). If you would like to commission an episode on a topic of your choosing, you can do so by joining Early’s Raiders at the Major level or higher. For more information, go to Patreon.com and search for Key Battles of American History.
Band of Brothers, Episode 5: Crossroads
December 30, 2023 - 49 min
In this episode Sean and James discuss Band of Brothers Episode 5: Crossroads. Winters writes an after-action report on Easy's actions during a German counter offensive on the Nijmegen salient; he is troubled by the fact that he shot an unarmed, teenage Waffen-SS soldier during the battle. Winters is promoted to battalion executive officer, and command of Easy is given to "Moose" Heyliger. Winters, Nixon, Heyliger and Sink meet Lt. Col. David Dobie of the British Parachute Regiment and 1st Airborne Division, who enlists Easy's help in Operation Pegasus to rescue 140 of his comrades. The operation succeeds, and the rescued British Paras celebrate with Easy and toast them. Heyliger is badly wounded, and command of the company passes to Norman Dike before they are rushed to Bastogne when the Germans break out in the Battle of the Bulge.
Medical Care in World War II
December 27, 2023 - 25 min
In this topical episode, commissioned by Early’s Raiders Major Ana Concepcion Castro, James discusses medical care in World War II, including the crucial role of combat medics, the various types of hospitals, and medical advances made during the war. If you would like to commission an episode on a topic of your choosing, you can do so by joining Early’s Raiders at the Major level or higher. For more information, go to Patreon.com and search for Key Battles of American History.
Band of Brothers, Episode 4: Replacements
December 23, 2023 - 42 min
In this episode Sean and James discuss Band of Brothers Episode 4: Replacements. Replacements join Easy Company and struggle to be accepted by the veterans who fought at Normandy. Winters is promoted to captain, while Sobel becomes the regiment's new supply officer. The company parachutes into the Netherlands as part of Operation Market Garden and liberates Eindhoven. During combat in Nuenen, the replacements integrate themselves with the company, but Easy is forced to retreat. Denver "Bull" Randleman is left behind. Wounded, Randeman hides in a barn and engages in hand-to-hand combat with a German soldier. He is reunited with the rest of the company the following day.
History of the Papacy Sample: The Septuagint
December 20, 2023 - 21 min
The Septuagint is the most important Bible translation you’ve never heard of. In this episode of the 10th Anniversary of the History of the Papacy series, Steve Guerra and his special guest Garry Stevens lay out the basics of the Septuagint translation of the Old Testament. They talk about the issues of translation and the process of translation.
Band of Brothers, Episode 3: Carentan
December 16, 2023 - 39 min
In this episode Sean and James discuss Band of Brothers Episode 3: Carentan. Easy fights in the Battle of Carentan and loses several men. Rumors begin to circulate that Ronald Speirs killed a group of German prisoners. Private Albert Blithe, who has been struggling with shell shock, is finally spurred into action by Winters during the Battle of Bloody Gulch. Several days later, Blithe is shot through the neck by a sniper while on patrol.
Revolutionary War Artillery
December 13, 2023 - 22 min
In this topical episode, commissioned by Early’s Raiders Major Doug Pergram, James discusses Revolutionary War artillery, including types of artillery and shot, how artillery were fired, and how they were used by both sides during the war. If you would like to commission an episode on a topic of your choosing, you can do so by joining Early’s Raiders at the Major level or higher. For more information, go to Patreon.com and search for Key Battles of American History.
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Meet Your Host
Meet Your Host
James is an Adjunct Professor of History at San Jacinto College in Pasadena, TX. He has published one book and two scholarly articles. He is also the cohost (with Scott Rank) of the Presidential Fight Club, Key Battles of the Civil War, Key Battles of the Revolutionary War, and Key Battles of World War I podcasts.
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